Organic foods: Are they safer? More nutritious?
In this article from Mayo clinic, released in 2020, their staff describes what makes produce organic. Organic food is produced by farms that use exclusively organic inputs. This article can teach you how to identify organic food and examines some of the benefits of eating such produce. You will also learn what it means when it says organic/organic ingredients on the label. Another distinction it makes that is worth learning is that natural ingredients are different from organic ingredients. Natural-labelled foods are not organic foods. Neither are hormone-free or free range produce.
No, “natural” and “organic” are not interchangeable terms. In general, “natural” on a food label means that it has no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. It does not refer to the methods or materials used to produce the food ingredients.
The labels “free-range” or “hormone-free,” are true, but do not indicate a farmer followed all guidelines for organic certification. 1
The article specifies higher nutrient content in fruits and vegetables and higher levels of omega fatty acids in meat and dairy as two of the benefits. It also talks about some of the pollutants such as heavy metals and chemicals which are present in conventional produce.
The value of this article is in understanding the distinction between organic, natural and conventional foods. Please note that only food and produce labelled as organic give you the benefits noted here. Do not be fooled by labels stating all-natural ingredients or cage-free livestock. Chemically farmed food and antibiotic injected mean can still qualify for those labels! Choose food labelled 100% organic ingredients when possible. Organic ingredients are guaranteed to be natural and farmed organically. Even better, purchase only fresh organic produce from local sources.
While the benefits described here are similar to those of the past article, a part worth reading here are definitions of what makes an organic produce, as well as a clarification of what the USDA organic certification seal means. It is always important when your are choosing your food to know what goes into it.
When you choose organic you are secure in the knowledge that you are consuming food in it’s natural state, while enjoying the benefits that come with it.
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